Hidden Treasures in Baja: Cave Paintings

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Baja California is home to outstanding cultural treasures dating back to prehistoric times. Just miles from Costa Palmas lie the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage rock paintings that are part of the great mural tradition of the Sierra San Francisco. The Sierra de Guadalupe cave paintings can be found in Mulegé, just off the shores of the Sea of Cortez.

Vibrant and colorful, approximately 750 well-preserved cave paintings cover the walls and ceilings in obscure, protected caves. Said to date back to 100 BC to 1300 AD, the paintings are attributed to a pre-Hispanic group in the region known as the Cochimies. While little is known of the indigenous group, the legacy of their existence is a treasure on the Baja.

The vibrant cave paintings primarily consist of human figures and many animal species, giving a unique perspective into the relationship between humans and their environment. Recently, talented local photographer, Josafat de la Toba, visited the cave creations and shared with us his amazing photographs.

The cave paintings are particularly well preserved, thanks to the dry Baja climate and the inaccessibility of the site. The composition, size and impressive artistic precision offer a fascinating revelation of an elevated, sophisticated culture dating back to ancient times.

As part of the larger Sierra de San Francisco mountain range, cave paintings are found in four main groups – Guadalupe, Santa Teresa, San Gregorio and Cerritos – covering an area of 183,956 hectares (454,565 acres) with more than 400 sites recorded. The rock art of the Sierra de San Francisco of Baja California offers one of the most outstanding concentrations of prehistoric art in the world.

Baja California is a world just waiting to be discovered and celebrated. Join us, won’t you?